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Social Education January/February 2020

Cover of January/February 2020 Social Education

Editor's Notebook

Editor's Notebook
Michael Simpson


NCSS Notebook

Agency, Advocacy, Activism: Action for Social Studies
Tina Lane Heafner

As social studies teachers, we play an essential role in preparing the next generation with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to become informed and engaged citizens.



The 2020 Presidential Election: How the Keys Are Pointing
Allan J. Lichtman

Studying the 13 diagnostic questions that make up the Keys election prediction system can help students understand what issues really matter to Americans when choosing a president. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government

Lessons on the Law

Earth Day at 50: A Time to Engage
Denis Hayes, Daniel Magraw

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day offers an excellent opportunity for teaching about environmental legislation and fostering action-oriented engagement in climate issues. 

Secondary/High School     Law-Related

Teaching with Documents

The Stewart Sisters v. The Steamer Sue: Nineteenth-Century Black Female Activism
Charles H. Withers

Examining documents in the classroom related to an 1885 case filed by four African American sisters challenging segregation on a steamship can springboard into an interesting debate about civil disobedience and peaceful protest. Secondary/High School     US History, Law-Related

Sources and Strategies

Developing Students’ Discipline-Specific Thinking by Studying Cultural Documentation
Cheryl Lederle, Stacie Moats

The featured photograph of a historical sign in Paterson, New Jersey can launch an exploration of the history, geography, and economics that shaped one community and can propel students to research their own local markers. Secondary/High School     US History, Geography, Economics


Checking the Facts: Media Literacy and Democracy
Chris Sperry, Sox Sperry

By integrating the process of critical questioning of media messages into the everyday classroom curriculum, we can help produce a citizenry with the skills needed to negotiate future threats to truth. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government

Teaching the C3 Framework

In Support of Students’ Needs: Exploring the Benefits of the Inquiry Design Model
Christopher T. Dague

The Inquiry Design Model offers an instructional framework that enables students to exercise control and agency in their social studies inquiries. Secondary/High School     US History, World History

Teaching About the Census


Teaching Students the Importance of the 2020 Census
Victoria Glasier, Aundrea Wilkins

As we begin the once-a-decade count of our nation’s population, the Census Bureau unveils new resources for teaching students about how the Census results impact our states and communities.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government


Using Census Data to Bring Your Classroom to Life
Victoria Glasier, Aundrea Wilkins

Incorporating census data into a range of social studies topics can help students enhance their statistical literacy skills while giving them a better understanding of the subjects they study. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government


Age and Sex Composition
Nicholas Birnbaum

The study of different aspects of the census such as age structure and the ratio of males to females can give students insight into how historical events have impacted our population. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government, US History


Telling Stories with Census Data
Jason G. Gauthier

By investigating statistics collected by censuses, students can obtain a deeper understanding of historical events and cultural milestones like the Battle of Gettysburg, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, or landing a man on the moon. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government, US History


Diversity and the Census Bureau
Christopher Martin

The Census Bureau’s emphasis on hiring census takers who reflect the communities in which they count has played a historic role in ensuring that neglected communities gain representation. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government, US History


The Census as Seen Through 23 Objects
Sharon Tosi Lacey, Christopher Martin, Jason G. Gauthier, Nicholas Birnbaum, Andrew Babin

This review of censuses from 1790 to 2010 is told through 23 objects that will stimulate student interest and offer insight into the myriad of information provided by censuses. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government, US History